As you know, having a stream of new clients for your service business makes your work life more energized. You have a pipeline of work scheduled and your next few months of finances are secured. But if clients are not coming to you in droves, these 5 surefire ideas will help you get more clients for your service business.
1. Start Blogging!
Assuming that you already have a website for your service business, a blog is the cheapest and best way to establish authority in your industry. By contributing to the industry’s discussion, your voice gets noticed and people will start to recognize you. And for a service business, with recognition and authority come bigger pay checks and more interested clients.
Besides building your authority, blogging is also a piece of content that can be used to market your business on the internet. Post your blogs on industry websites and your social media channels especially LinkedIn. If the content sticks, people will start linking to it and sharing it with their connections and you’ll probably be getting some referrals.
2. Networking and Referrals
Attending networking events with other like-minded business owners and potential prospects should be part of your routine. Seek out opportunities to discuss business with new people and listen to their needs. Even if your service doesn’t satisfy their immediate need, try to connect them with the right person and establish a relationship.
Referrals are some of the most loyal clients you can have. They tend to stay with you longer and will likely refer even more clients to you. Asking for a referral is easy. After you finish a project and your client is completely satisfied, simply ask if they could give you a referral. Don’t underestimate this tried-and-true marketing effort.
3. Refine Your Focus
The linchpin of marketing is knowing and articulating your unique value proposition. Take time today to hone in on what is special about your service. If you’re completely stumped, take out a pen and a piece of paper and brainstorm answers to these questions to start working on your business. What do clients say I do well? What part of my job do I enjoy doing the most? Where do I feel like I provide the most value for clients?
With the answers to these questions in your mind, figure out what sets you apart from your competitors. You should also look at your competition to see what kinds of language they are using to differentiate themselves. Once you’ve determined your unique value proposition, start sharing it with potential clients in person and through your website.
4. Partner Up
If you have identified a business with the same target audience as you but is not a direct competitor, you have the opportunity to work together. By promoting each other’s products or services, with a coupon for example, you can reach a lot more potential clients. Try promoting each other’s services at the end of your next newsletter or e-blast.
A partnership can be taken to the next level by offering services in tandem. If you have complementary services, you can either refer clients to each other or sell a product that you both benefit from. Whether you’re interested in a short term partnership or a strategic alliance that could last for years, partnering up with other service businesses can help you get new clients.
When it comes to advertising it is easy to spend a lot of money. If your budget is low approach this with caution and an analytic mind. You need to thoroughly know your prospective customer and where they like to spend their time. Are they on Facebook? Twitter? LinkedIn? Or could you best reach them through Google AdWords? Or would a billboard or a newspaper ad reach more people interested in what you do?
Besides traditional methods of advertising like direct mail, which can offer great response rates, there are newer ways to advertise. For example, you may want to consider offering a Groupon which allows people to purchase your service at a one-time discount. Many times when people purchase through Groupon and similar coupon sites, they can become return customers. Plus these are great ways to get increased exposure.
Getting New Clients
When it comes down to it, getting new clients for your service business takes a consistent and diversified effort. Know what you offer and find where the people are that need it. These 5 tips are surefire ways that are proven to work.
Which of these 5 methods do you think would help you get more clients? Please join the conversation in the comments.